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Mad Robots

by martingbutler@outlook.com

The notion that there is no such thing as free will and that our actions are just as determined as those of a billiard ball bouncing around the table is very unpopular. It seems to be a fundamental human vanity that while everything else may be determined by inviolable laws, we humans are free to do and act as we feel. If we believe in free will, we believe in causeless effects, or that the decision to do a certain thing has no causes. If we believe that human beings lie outside the domain of cause and effect, then we can believe in free will.

If we can accept that our actions are wholly determined by circumstances and our own conditioning, it becomes much easier to see humanity as a collection of mad robots. The word “mad” is appropriate if we consider that we have always spent a good deal of our effort and energy killing each other in wars, and that we now seem to be quite happy to destroy our habitat by polluting it. Fingers are pointed at those dumping toxic chemicals into rivers and the atmosphere, at governments that are quite happy to loosen legislation if it means more profit. But all these people and organizations are just mad robots, and pointing the finger is a complete waste of time. By-the-way, the people pointing the fingers are mad robots too. If many of these people could make a couple of million dollars by polluting rivers, they would do it.

It seems to me that our insanity is a natural phenomenon; we didn’t create ourselves, after all. As such, our own self-destruction may be programmed in. It isn’t difficult to imagine that businesses will come about selling breathable air or anything that allows a person to make a quick buck out of the distress of others.

In my opinion, there is no solution to all of this. We are all driven to seek power and continued existence, no matter the cost to others. This is our programming and, as mad robots, this is what will drive us. The destruction of the human race through its own behavior is a cause for concern for many mad robots, but obviously that is just self-interest. There are no guarantees that the human race will endure forever, or that it will not take down life on planet Earth with it. Whatever happens, it is the only thing that was ever going to happen.

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